Lewis Wallace (1827-1905) was born in Brookville. He had a distinguished military and political career, but probably is best known as the author of Ben Hur (1880). President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him governor of the New Mexico Territory from 1878 to 1881 to restore peace during a time known as the Lincoln County War. The letters and documents shown here represent that part of his career. The documents reveal the fear among the civilians, Wallace’s efforts to curb the violence and how he negotiated with William Bonney, “Billy the Kid.” Collection guide.